Thai National Parks

Birds of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Long-tailed duck

Thai: เป็ดหางยาว, ped hang yao

Binomial name: Clangula hyemalis, Carolus Linnaeus, 1758

The long-tailed duck (Clangula hyemalis), once known as oldsquaw, is a medium-sized sea duck. It is the only living member of its genus, Clangula. This was formerly used for the goldeneyes, with the long-tailed duck being placed in Harelda, but the latter is the type species of the genus. An undescribed congener is known from the Middle Miocene Sajóvölgyi Formation (Late Badenian, 13–12 Mya) of Mátraszőlős, Hungary.

Description

Adults have white underparts, though the rest of the plumage goes through a complex moulting process. The male has a long pointed tail (10 to 15 cm long) and a dark grey bill crossed by a pink band. In winter, the male has a dark cheek patch on a mainly white head and neck, a dark breast and mostly white body. In summer, the male is dark on the head, neck and back with a white cheek patch. The female has a brown back and a relatively short pointed tail. In winter, the female's head and neck are white with a dark crown. In summer, the head is dark. Juveniles resemble adult females in autumn plumage, though with a lighter, less distinct cheek patch.

Standard Measurements
length 17.5 - 23.5 mm order=flip
weight 740 g
wingspan 28 mm
wing 209 - 228 mm
tail 165 - 237 mm
culmen 26 - 30 mm
tarsus 34 - 38 mm

The males are vocal and have a musical yodelling call ow, ow, owal-ow.

Ecology

Their breeding habitat is in tundra pools and marshes, but also along sea coasts and in large mountain lakes in the North Atlantic region, Alaska, northern Canada, northern Europe, and Russia. The nest is located on the ground near water; it is built using vegetation and lined with down. They are migratory and winter along the eastern and western coasts of North America, on the Great Lakes, coastal northern Europe and Asia, with stragglers to the Black Sea. The most important wintering area is the Baltic Sea, where a total of about 4.5 million gather.

The long-tailed duck is gregarious, forming large flocks in winter and during migration. They feed by diving for mollusks, crustaceans and some small fish. Although they usually feed close to the surface, they are capable of diving to depths of 60 m. According to the Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds they can dive to 80 fathoms (146 meters or 480 feet). They are the only ducks that use their wings to dive, which gives them the ability to dive much deeper than other ducks.

Name

In North American English it is sometimes called oldsquaw, though this name has fallen out of favour under influence of negative connotations of the word squaw in English usage. Some biologists have also feared that this name would be offensive to some Native American tribes involved in the conservation effort. The American Ornithologists' Union stated that "political correctness" was not sufficient to change the name, but "to conform with English usage in other parts of the world", it officially adopted the name "Long-tailed Duck". The scientific name is derived from Latin clangere, "to resound", and hyemalis, "of winter".

Status

The long-tailed duck is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

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Scientific classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Anseriformes
Family
Anatidae
Genus
Clangula
Species
Clangula hyemalis

Common names

  • Thai: เป็ดหางยาว, ped hang yao

Synonyms

  • Anas hyemalis, Carolus Linnaeus (1758)
  • Harelda hyemalis, Carolus Linnaeus (1758)

Conservation status

Vulnerable (IUCN3.1)

Vulnerable (IUCN3.1)

Distribution map of Long-tailed duck, Clangula hyemalis in Thailand
  • Nong Bong Khai Non-hunting Area

Range map of Clangula hyemalis in Thailand

Important note; our range maps are based on limited data we have collected. The data is not necessarily accurate or complete.

Special thanks to Ton Smits, Parinya Pawangkhanant, Ian Dugdale and many others for their contribution for range data.

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